Guest Blog Post: “Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t” by Caz

My inner cynic can loom monstrous enough to be laughable. When it skulks, it can be harder to address. Caz, who lives in England, understands that emotions are part of being human. Without being syrupy, without promoting denial, she offers practical help. Her Invisibly Me site deals with living with invisible chronic pain, including living with an ileostomy (not to be confused with a colostomy). Here’s a sample of her best advice…

Graphic: Focus On What You Can Do. Not What You Can't.

Photo of blogger Caz of InvisiblyMe.com
Caz made her first website when she was 13!

I wrote this with chronic illness in mind, but it also applies to other spheres of life, from living arrangements to your financial situation. 

Focussing on what you can’t do. It can become a vicious cycle, leaving us exhausted and disheartened before we even begin. It can happen for various reasons. Looking at how things used to be in the past, such as before chronic illness took hold. It may be from social pressures concerning what we ‘should’ be doing at this point in our lives. It may be from comparing your life to how you thought it would look, or comparing your situation to that of your peers.

For whatever reason, it’s good to work on acknowledging and accepting the situation and what you can’t necessarily change right now. Then, redefine what’s important to you, not what you feel you ‘should’ value or want. Write your own rules. Find new paths to explore and get creative to find ways to get there. Maybe you can’t do certain things, but there will always be options and alternatives. There are always small changes you can make and actions to take to improve your situation or live your best life. You may just have to look a little harder to find them.

It’s also about readjusting expectations and making them more realistic and manageable. Take note of the things you can be grateful for that often get lost in the midst of pain and illness, or stress and worry. It’s about looking at the things you’re good at and the positives you can eek out of your situation and experiences. You’ve become stronger and more resilient. Perhaps you’ve met new people in person or online, such as through blogging or support groups. Maybe you’re more compassionate, empathic, have found a new skill or have become more appreciative of the small joys in life.

When we focus on the negatives, the limitations or the things we can’t change, we give up our power. By honing in on those things you can’t do or have, or the ways in which you feel constrained, it limits your perspective and experiences even more so.

By focusing on the can’t-dos, you’re reducing yourself & your life. You are more than just the things you can’t do. 

Empower yourself by looking at what you can do, no matter how small. Look at the things you can change, the tasks you can accomplish, the things you can choose to do. 

Instead of ‘I can’t do…’, change it to ‘but I can do…’.

You’re doing the best you can, with the cards you’ve been dealt and the situation you find yourself in. A little jiggle of perspective can make a big difference. Don’t close yourself off from possibilities. Instead, think outside the box and take back some control over your life. You may just find that you’re capable of more than you imagined.

– Caz

Visit Caz at her blog and her facebook page and her Instagram.

Blogger Caz of InvisiblyMe.comInvisiblyMe.com logo graphic

How do you deal with invisible pain?…

 

Guest Post: 10 Harmless Things Said That Hurt by Uncustomary Housewife

Photo from Uncustomary Housewife

I admit it — I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. Fortunately, Uncustomary Housewife offers help from anyone who shares my predicament…

Uncustomary Housewife

I’m letting my heart spill out through my keyboard… metaphorically, of course, and I’m offering it all to you. Today, I’m going to talk about my mental health. This is something that I’ve worked to conceal for a long time, mostly because of the negative stigma attached to mental illness. I’m sharing for two main reasons; (1) to educate people, and (2) to show people like me that they are not alone.

For the record: I’m living with Bipolar Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder… In this post I’m sharing 10 “harmless things” that people have said to me that actually cause me a great deal of pain. I’m also sharing how they make me feel, and why, while giving you an inside look at my life.

So, these are the things I wish you wouldn’t say to me;

“You don’t look like you have a mental illness.”
More commonly stated as…

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Willie Nelson: Vote ’em Out VIDEO by da-AL

That’s what election day’s all about!

(Left) Nelson, 1949, high school (Right) Nelson, 2016, Topeka, Kansas
(Left) Nelson, 1949, high school (Right) Nelson, 2016, Topeka, Kansas

Willie Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, author, poet, actor, and activist.

Willie Nelson – Vote ‘Em Out lyrics

[Verse 1]
If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out
That’s what Election Day is all about
The biggest gun we’ve got
Is called “the ballot box”
So if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out

[Chorus]
Vote ’em out (vote ’em out)
Vote ’em out (vote ’em out)
And when they’re gone we’ll sing and dance and shout
Bring some new ones in
And we’ll start that show again
And if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out

[Verse 2]
If it’s a bunch of clowns you voted in
Election Day is comin’ ’round again
If you don’t like it now
If it’s more than you’ll allow
If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out

[Chorus]
Vote ’em out (vote ’em out)
Vote ’em out (vote ’em out)
And when they’re gone we’ll sing and dance and shout
Bring some new ones in
And we’ll start the show again
And if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out

[Outro]
Vote ’em out (vote ’em out)
Vote ’em out (vote ’em out)
That’s what Election Day is all about
The biggest gun we’ve got
Is called “the ballot box”
So if you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out
If you don’t like who’s in there, well vote ’em out

Did you vote yet?

Guest Blog Post: “Whisper: I Slept With My Bully” by Kally

Photo of a woman on a bed, her back to us

This tragic story, retold by blogger Kally, is all the sadder because the young woman to whom it happened blames herself for what isn’t her fault. To heal, she bravely recounts it to us so that the same thing doesn’t happen to others…

MiddleMe

love your column Whisper and I hope by sharing my story, perhaps some young girl out there will learn from my mistakes and maybe save herself from evil.

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Guest Blog Post: Don’t by Born in Providence

When nowhere seems safe, blogger Born in Providence invites us to find shelter on her Island of Sanctuary…

Born in Providence

Don’t show them your drawing

They’ll find the mistakes, compare it to what’s already on the fridge or that Picasso we saw on the field trip last year. Third grade is no excuse; third degree.

Don’t ask them how you look

They’ll find the bump in your pony, the hole in your sock which is already inside your shoe, which are too tight and have a scuff. They’ll see that too. You look tired. Did you even brush your teeth?

Don’t tell them you’re hungry or full

They’ll decide you’re too big, small, selfish, greedy, a bottomless pit, picky. Comparing your plate to everyone with more or less deserving than you, making it impossible to taste or swallow past the lump in your throat.

Don’t offer your opinion even when they ask

They’ll decide their ideas, experiences, thoughts and preferences are superior while simultaneously highlighting why everything that comes out…

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Guest Blog Post: “Universal Human Rights – Do you know them?” in Patty’s exact words

Dutch blogger Patty first wrote this great post for us about what it’s like to own a dog in Germany. Here she discusses why it is imperative that we all respect each other …

This post by Patty of DreamPack.org
This post by Patty of DreamPack.org

These days violence, intolerance, racism, discrimination seems to increase again. More and more people need to flee their homes and/or their countries, in the hope to find safety and peace elsewhere on our big Dreampack. When even leaders have forgotten our Universal Human Rights, I feel it’s time and very important to remind us all again of our Universal Human Rights.

Background:

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 3rd session on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. The full text is available on the United Nations website.

The Declaration consists of thirty articles affirming an individual’s rights which, although not legally binding in themselves, have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, economic transfers, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions, and other laws. The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols. In 1966, the General Assembly adopted the two detailed Covenants, which complete the International Bill of Human Rights.” Source: Wikipedia 

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.” Source: United Nations

At my website you will find a permalink to a list of the 30 basic Human Rights: regardless where you were born, how you are raised, your circumstances, etc., as a human being you automatically have these basic rights. I added this link to make sure all the Beautiful Souls who visit my site, will be reminded of the rights we have.

During the upcoming weeks, I will select some of these important rights and add my personal view. I would like to encourage you to look up our Human Rights, not to take these for granted or to misuse, but as a reminder we are all Human beings, Beautiful Souls and therefore we all matter.

In addition, I hope to inspire the writers and artists among us to also use this topic for an article, story, poem, photograph, paint or any other piece of art and help me and many Human Rights Organizations to spread this information of huge importance.
Please be so kind to inform me, if you do; would love to read or view your input 😉

~~~

Article 1 ~ Right to Equality

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

My personal view:

Regardless where we were born and into which family, or even the way we were conceived, we are all created by human beings and therefore: we are ALL Human Beings. As an infant, we don’t have a clue yet about violence, racism or other behaviors that could change our life entirely. To survive, is one of our basic instincts and all we want is food, shelter and a safe place to sleep. Most of all, I believe, we want to be loved and embraced… just for who we are. That basic need will never leave us and it is our birthright to get.

We humans are the only species on earth, who know that it knows (phrase Mr. Leen Mees) and we should, in my opinion, take care of this fact more thoughtfully. Yes, we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights. That doesn’t mean we should take it for granted, demand it or even worse; literally kill each other for that right.

Like the first article of our universal human rights describes; we should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. As evolved creatures, we should always choose peaceful ways to stand up for our rights, civil ways at the least and not turn to inhuman disgraceful alternatives.
I truly believe, we all now by heart, by or instincts given at birth, how to ‘be good’. It’s a choice how to go through life, to try to understand each other, to be tolerant, to be(come) a Beautiful Soul.

Let’s not forget: We are ALL born naked 😉

~~~
What (a) Dreampack is to me: READ

~~~
Resources:
Human Rights Library, University of Minnesota: http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/  (in more languages available)
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights
United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

Be Your Own Best Role Model – & – Guest Blog Post: “Learning to make homes,” in Elizabeth Semende’s exact words

Thank you, Ryan McGuire.

Role models can be great. They provide wisdom for how to get where we’d like to be.

Take care, though.

In our eagerness, we risk blindness and deafness to how sometimes they’re better examples of what not to do. Of the ones we love, those who are closest to us, their familiarity can feel like normalcy.

The amazing poem posted by afroliz of Zimbabwe that follows illustrates what I’m trying to say.

I believe we must all continually work to be our own best role models. Let us be lighthearted in working toward that goal. Let us be as serious as happiness when it comes to understanding which role models we might already have unwittingly chosen.

flowers and poems 🌼

In these places where women come to die

My mother’s words take turns to hit my ears:

“When you find a man, carve a home beneath his pride and

learn to make homes from nothing.”
Then I screamed: Mother this is not my home!

This is not a home!

It carries the weight of a man’s pride

the same way corpses carry the weight of tombstones​

In silence.

Mother did not listen.
She too found a home

In these places where nothing remains

but a swam of men urinating on the flame of our souls

She said: that is how we make homes out of nothing

By carrying the weight of a man’s pride

In silence.

© Elizabeth Semende

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